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Levon Aronian vs Ruslan Ponomariov
World Cup (2005), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 7, Dec-16
Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower Defense. General (D58)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 22 OF 23 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-16-05  Hesam7: <AdrianP: Maybe Botvinnik was wrong about knight endings being pawn endings ;-)>

No, on the contrary he was dead right. The similarity that Botvinnik mentions is that one should calculate very accurately in both this endings and that each tempo matters. You can not play this endings by general considerations (which people do in Blitz).

Dec-16-05  Mameluk: <Hesam7> Not a waste of tempo at all. That knght must go somewhere. After a5-Kd5 looks also hard to win.
Dec-16-05  Hesam7: <Mameluk> I am not sure, you might be right. Anyhow I said 59. Nd4 is a candidate for spoiling the win.
Dec-16-05  StraightLarsen: Ponomariov played brilliantly. There was no way for aronian to win. Ponomariov defended perfectly and showed his huge endgame skill. The time control made no difference to both of them. Ponomariov seems to be the best endgame player in the world. Congrats to Aronian for his great play....
Dec-16-05  lopium: I don't know if Ponomariov is "the best endgames player of the world" but I agree that he is really strong, or at least here.
Dec-16-05  you vs yourself: I am taking this for granted for some reason, but : Thanks for the live broadcast <>!
Dec-16-05  AdrianP: <The similarity that Botvinnik mentions is that one should calculate very accurately in both this endings and that each tempo matters.> I'm sure Botvinnik meant something more than this. Otherwise he would have said "knight endings are rook endings are pawn endings". Or more helpfully, "endings are endings are endings".

I think what Botvinnik was driving at is related to the fact that knights are short range pieces - i.e. knight endings like pawn endings are often decided by rushing on one side of the board or the other. Another similarity is that zugzwang motifs crop up in a similar way, because a knight cannot both move and continue to cover the same (important) square, in contrast to e.g. a bishop.

Of course, Botvinnik was deliberately overstating his point.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I'm still in awe of how Pono pulled that draw out of his a-s.
Dec-16-05  Hesam7: <AdrianP> I quote from Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual:

<"Knight endgames are pawn endgames": that's something Botvinnik once said. What he had in mind, is that many of the laws of pawn endings apply equally to knight endings. The same high value is given, for instance, to the active position of the king or the outside passed pawn.>

Dec-16-05  aragorn69: <Hesam> Let's see. Are you sure it's a win after say 59.a5 f3 60.a6 (what else? Nd4 seems to lead to what was played in the game) Nf4+ 61.Ke3 Nd5+ 62.Kf3 Nb6 63.Nc3 Kd6 64.b4 Nc8! 65.Ke4 Kc6 66.Kd4 Na7 etc. The point is that the pawn structure on the kingside must prevent Black's King entering to collect the pawn, and that's hard to do if you leave the White King with the job of collecting the f-pawn. Hence 59.Nd4... Knight endings are a delicate balancing act. Now again, I might be wrong about 59.a5!? Cheers
Dec-16-05  mr. nice guy: I think he pulled that draw out of his b---n.
Dec-16-05  guest66: ok so who is this botvinnik guy anyway ?
Dec-16-05  AdrianP: <Hesam7> <"Knight endgames are pawn endgames": that's something Botvinnik once said. What he had in mind, is that many of the laws of pawn endings apply equally to knight endings. The same high value is given, for instance, to the active position of the king or the outside passed pawn.>

Yes that's more like it.

That's a different thing to saying <The similarity that Botvinnik mentions is that one should calculate very accurately in both this endings and that each tempo matters.> which is pretty platitudinous.

Dec-16-05  thegreatzidane: < guest66: ok so who is this botvinnik guy anyway ? :)) >you dont know him????
Dec-16-05  Ezzy: <which is pretty platitudinous.> I thought that my vocabulary was ok, but I have learnt a new word today. Thought it was some kind of dinosaur! :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: Adding to what <AdrianP> and <Hesam7> stated about Knight and Pawn endings, is the ever present threat that the side who is down a pawn or two, can, quite often, sac his Knight for the final pair of pawns forcing a draw. This can only happen when the pawns are on the same side of course, but it is easier to sac the Knight instead of the Bishop because you can cover both color squares.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <mr nice guy> Si el condenado uso su cerebro para hacer tablas. :)
Dec-16-05  mr. nice guy: <Chancho> Saludos!. Celebro que hayas cambiando a cerebro. Disfruto mucho tus opiniones en este foro. Hasta luego.
Dec-16-05  lopium: Pucha!! Ayer vi una partida de Kasparov, y el hombre que juegó con el sí que usó a su cerebro para hacer tablas, es increible!! Tanto que hoy en la mañana le he contado a unos amigos!! Jajaa.
Dec-16-05  SnoopDogg: <Hesam7><IMO 59. a5 was much stronger. White wasted a whole tempo on that move.>

Actually that leads to the same position almost with a draw no matter how you look/play at it.

Dec-16-05  Hesam7: I think Aronian had several chances to play better moves. Here aro two examples:

[1] 37. Qe4?

As many mentioned during the game the Kd2-Nd3 setup was much stronger. Here is a line by Fruit:

37. Kd2 Qf1 38. Nd3 Ng4 39. Qf3 Nf6 40. g3 Qb1 41. Qg2 Ng4 42. Qc6 Qf1 43. Qc1 Qg2 44. Ke2 Nh2 45. Ne5 h5 46. b3 Ng4 47. Nxg4 hxg4 (eval: +1.27 @ depth 21)

[2] 40. Qf3?

With the same idea as before here 40. Ke2 was suggested. Here is what Fruit says:

40. Ke2 Nh2 41. Nd3 Qf1 42. Kd2 Ng4 43. Qf3 Nf6 44. g3 Ng4 45. Kc2 e5 46. Kc3 e4 47. Qxe4 Nxf2 48. Qe5 f6 49. Qe7 Kg6 50. Qe8 Kg7 51. Qd7 Kg6 52. Qxb5 Ne4 53. Kc2 Nxg3 (eval: +1.21 @ depth 19)

First I thought that the Knight ending was won for white but with GM Carlsen's comments and a new look I have my doubts maybe the whole white advantage disappeared when he entered the Knight ending.

<aragorn69> I think I was mistaken, your line seems to work and white gains nothing:

59. a5 f3 60. a6 Nf4+ 61. Ke3 Nd5+ 62. Kf3 Nb6 63. Nc3 Kd6 64. b4 Nc8! 65. Ke4 Kc6 66. Kd4 Na7

It would be very interesting to show that Knight ending is actually a draw.

Dec-16-05  patzer2: <Hesam 7> What does Fruit give after 56. Kc3!? Fritz 8 showed it leading to a decisive advantage, but after watching Pono's amazing defense I wouldn't be surprised to find this move also leads to a draw.
Dec-16-05  PinkPanther: Fruit?
Dec-17-05  patzer2: <PinkPanther> See
Dec-17-05  Bobsterman3000: Can anyone tell me the purpose of 20.g4 ?

Doesn't this simply weaken the kingside pawn structure? From what I can tell, it's not as if this move takes away any good squares for black's piecess...

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